With the Galaxy Z Flip 3 unveiling at Unpacked, Samsung skipped a digit and brought the name of the new clamshell foldable more in line with the Galaxy Z Fold series’ schedule. The new Galaxy Z Flip 3 succeeds the Galaxy Z Flip 5G from August last year, the latter of which was technically the same phone as the early-2020 model — with the addition of the Snapdragon 865 5G chipset.
So, unlike the Galaxy Z Fold family, the Z Flip series had two years to mature. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 makes a design leap from the first model released in early 2020, and it’s very obvious that we’re looking at a newer-generation device.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Z Flip Design: Refinement and water resistance
Samsung focused on the smallest details and shapes when designing the new Galaxy Z Flip 3. The team of engineers even took into consideration the path of reflected light when defining the phone’s curves. They went through many prototypes to optimize the shape of the phone for comfort and usability.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is marginally thinner, narrower, and shorter than the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, but its edges are flatter, and the bezel surrounding the foldable screen is narrower. It also got an IPX8 rating, making it the first Flip in the series to boast water resistance.
But the most impactful design change is the two-tone design with the large sheet of glass covering the 1.9 cover display and the dual-camera housing.
Personalization and accessories
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 looks more modern and has a softer finish that shouldn’t be as much of a fingerprint magnet as the Galaxy Z Flip’s mirror-like finish. It’s also available in more colors at launch. Seven, to be precise, three of which are dual-tone and online-exclusive. Samsung has also developed three different case models for the Galaxy Z Flip 3, all of which come in various colors and designs, adding up to over a dozen choices.
Finally, Samsung wanted to give Galaxy Z Flip 3 users a way to express themselves through the larger cover display. This decision brought us various clock styles, screen savers containing user images or GIFs, synchronization with Galaxy Watch 4 watch faces, more detailed notifications, and more.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Z Flip Displays: 120Hz foldable display and bigger cover screen
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 5G may seem like they have the same foldable display, but the new model has a few really important extra features. Although they’re both described as 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Displays with a resolution of 2640 by 1080 and a pixel density of 425ppi, the Z Flip 3 is the only clamshell foldable to support a high refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The panel is also 29% brighter and is covered in a protective film with 80% higher durability.
Samsung also worked on improving the cover screen situation. The new cover display has a 1.9-inch diagonal, up from 1.1 inches, and a higher resolution of 512 x 260 pixels. In terms of usability, it provides more detailed notifications and integration with Samsung apps such as Music, Weather, Schedule, Alarm, Samsung Health, Buds Controller, Voice Recorder, and Timer.
Users will be able to swipe right on the cover screen to access notifications, left for widgets, down for quick settings, and up for Samsung Pay. Notifications come with an “Open App” button, which is the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s way of using the concept of App Continuity. Once tapped, users can flip open the phone to get instant access to the full version of the app and notification.
Cameras and hardware: A mixed bag with stereo speakers
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 hardware isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a mixed bag in the sense that it hasn’t seen too many changes from the previous generations. Although the Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with a brand-new cover screen, the two other elements on the rear panel — namely the two cameras — are exactly the same as before. Likewise, the selfie camera embedded in the foldable display’s Infinity-O cutout is unchanged from the previous generations.
The internal hardware has a similar story, with one big exception. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is powered by a new Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is both more powerful and energy-efficient.
There is one notable upgrade, namely the addition of stereo speakers. Combined with the increased raw power and the 120Hz, they’ll make the Galaxy Z Flip 3 a more suitable phone for enjoying multimedia content.
Oh, and there’s a new 8GB+128GB memory option in addition to 8GB+256GB. By the way, this is one of the reasons why the Galaxy Z Flip has a much lower — and reasonable — starting price than the Z Flip 5G.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Z Flip Launch Price: It’s gone way down!
The Galaxy Z Flip 5G debuted last year for a rather steep $1,499. One year later, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a starting price of $999, marking a huge milestone in Samsung’s foldable timeline. It’s the company’s first foldable phone to have a sub-$1,000 launch price without trade-in or strings attached.
Basic storage was halved to 128GB, and the phone isn’t accompanied by a wall charger or earbuds, as part of Samsung’s strategy to bring costs down and create less waste. All in all, it led to a whopping $500 price reduction over last year’s model, not to mention that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a few welcomed hardware and design improvements, a larger cover screen, and an IPX8 rating.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Z Flip Conclusion
Galaxy Z Flip 5G owners looking for a massive performance boost won’t find it by trading in their existing phones for a new Galaxy Z Flip 3. However, the new clamshell will be a worthy upgrade for anyone looking for a water-resistant foldable phone with a more generous cover display, a brighter and stronger 120Hz foldable screen, a modernized design with support for more accessories, and lots of personalization opportunities through accessories and software. Samsung offers all of that, and more.
For customers new to the foldable family, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the first model to have a price just shy of $1,000, making it a real alternative to a regular non-foldable flagship phone.
You can check the device comparison widget below for a closer look at the hardware side-by-side.
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